Orr Fellowship

The Value of a Hand-Written Note

There is something special and exciting about receiving a letter in the mail. Think about how effort, time, and even money, it takes to write a hand-written letter. This is a multi-step process in which you have to sit down, think about what to say, actually write something (it takes longer than you think), address the letter, stamp and seal it, and then go to the post office to mail it. Although sending an email or a text message is much easier and convenient, it is less personal and almost mindless. There is much more value and meaning in a handwritten, well-crafted letter, that can take you far in both your personal and professional relationships. 

Here are some of the best occasions to send a hand-written note:

As a thank you
  • Show appreciation and gratitude to a friend, colleague, business or client letting them know that the good deed or kind gesture did not go unnoticed.
After an interview
  • Although you should first send a quick, follow-up thank you email (so they see it right away), your hand-written note will make you stand out more from other candidates.
After an informational meeting or session
  • Did you find that individual’s time worthwhile and informative? Tell them about how their time made a difference to you. It can also help you maintain a professional relationship with that person.
To recognize or congratulate
  • ‚ÄčLet someone know how proud of them you are. You won’t regret it and they’ll appreciate it.
For a birthday
  • Birthdays are not only momentous occasions, but also reminders of how many people in this world care about us. Make someone’s day by wishing them a happy birthday, it’ll remind them that you are thankful to have them in your life.
On a special occasion or holiday
  • Holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Memorial Day (and many more!) are great excuses to tell someone how much they mean to you and how you are thinking of them on this special day.
As a condolence
  • If someone is going through a difficult experience, let them know that you’re thinking of them and you’re there for them. 
Hand-written words are very personal, show you care, and are more everlasting than an email. Next time you find yourself thinking of someone, for whatever reason, send them a letter and show them you care - you never know what lasting impact it could have on them. 

Young Entrepreneur Panel

When thinking about career aspirations as an entrepreneur, I have always looked at passion as the guiding force. Last month’s Business Leader Meeting (BLM) gave me a whole new perspective on my career and what it means to be an entrepreneur. The format of the BLM was a panel with three stellar, young entrepreneurs: Max Yoder, CEO and co-founder of Lesson.ly; Chris Palmer, CEO and founder of BoxFox and SupplyKick; and Peter SerVaas, President and co-founder of DoubleMap. Max and Chris are also two former Orr Fellows!

Everyone knows to be an entrepreneur you need an idea. Our panelists developed their ideas in three very different ways. Max saw the difficulty in training new employees, providing them with all the necessary information to contribute to the team immediately, while one of his co-founders struggled to create an online history lesson to prepare his kids for a trip to tour famous monuments in Paris. These two struggles came together to form Lesson.ly, a company that creates customizable online lessons. Peter was heavily involved in student government and saw the need for tracking public bus locations for students. This led him to co-found DoubleMap, which provides real-time GPS bus tracking to transit systems across the world. Chris was just trying to buy an office chair for his home and found a great deal from Craigslist. It was too good to pass up so he bought all 10 and made $1000! This led to the formation of SupplyKick to create better market flow for small retailers to sell and appraise excess inventory. When asked how passion played a role in forming their idea, Chris jokingly replied, “I can’t say that I was passionate about overstock inventory.” He added that it was more about the idea and getting it to work that made him love what he does. 

Throughout the panel, there was one recurring theme that kept sticking out to me; People. The panelists were all on the same page. Once you have a working idea, the next most important factor is bringing on the right people. “For your first employee, you need to find an ‘A’ employee. A ‘B’ employee will just slow you down,” said Max, expressing the value of finding the best people, not just the right people. The best people don’t have to work for you for them to be a resource. Chris stressed the importance of sharing your idea with the best and brightest, getting their feedback and seeing if they’ll buy it. Overall the idea may come first, but it’s the people you bring along that make it successful. 

Max summarized it well saying, “It's about all the people and loving working together. The training software is just the puzzle that we put together every day. You need to love the reasons you're doing it and the people you do it with.”

So again, is passion the guiding force to being a successful entrepreneur? According to three successful entrepreneurs, it starts with an idea and grows with the right people. It’s not that passion doesn’t play a role in becoming a successful---it’s just not the guiding force, but rather fuel to the fire to help you accomplish your goals. It’s the idea that gets you going and the people that make it count. 


An Open Love Letter to the Fellows

The most celebrated Hallmark holiday just occurred as evidenced by a simple stroll through your local grocery store: aisles overflowed with fresh flowers, gourmet chocolates, and festive spirits. While it was nearly impossible to miss this holiday, Valentine's day prompts mixed emotions; some people get excited, some shrug it off, and some just try to ignore it.
Most people think of the Feast of St. Valentine as a day to show your significant other some extra love and to everyone else? It’s just another day. 
Well, I like to think that yes, it is a day of love, but not just for couples. It’s also a day that you can remind those that you care about that you love them- and why they mean so much to you. Yep, you guessed it. It’s about to get cheesy, so feel free to look away if you’re rolling your eyes.
Here it is- Fellows, boy do I love you. I love how each one of us can see another Orr Fellow randomly at the store or car wash and we immediately greet each other with a hello and genuine smile. I love how I feel like I can sit next to any of you at the next monthly meeting. I love how our friend group is literally over 70 people. I love our funny GroupMe messages and the classic gifs in emails. I love how we form random little groups based off our interests from sports and music to movies and reading. 
Yes, there’s all that ‘silly fun’ love. But then there’s the real, inspiring love. I find myself randomly looking around at this group of individuals and feeling absolutely overwhelmed with awe. So many passionate, stimulating, driven, intelligent peers that are not even 26-years-old yet. You all inspire me, make me want to strive for even more. We’re a part of something special. We all are in this transitional period of no longer being college students, but still getting our footing in our careers- and we’re going through it together knowing we have other Fellows by our side. We know we would help each other in any way we can if a Fellow needed it. Yes, that’s corny and cheesy and all that good stuff… but it’s the gosh darn truth. You’re all epicly talented in your professional and personal careers- and I love how each of us cheer each other on! 
So Fellows- I sure do love you. Happy Valentine’s Day! 
Endless hugs,

Porch Profile: The Men of Guilford

The following post is part of a blog series that highlights fun roommate dynamics in various places in Indianapolis. Featured are the men of Guilford (from left) including second-year Fellow Patrick Adams, and first-year Fellows Brendan Heinz and Kevin Stewart. 

What makes your house different from any other house?
Kevin Stewart: We’re all from Notre Dame, which I guess is the most obvious thing that makes us stand out.
Patrick ‘Patch’ Adams: We have a big house. It’s a historical house in the fellowship. 
Joseph ‘Brendan’ Heinz: It’s a historical Orr house. 
PA: Orr fellows have lived here for at least six years.  
BH: At least 200 years, I think? (*laughter*)
KS: The first class of ND students that lived here, what was that, 1848?
BH: When Indianapolis was being colonized, Orr fellows moved in here and built this house. It was one of the first settlements in Broad Ripple area. 
KS: So building off this conversation, we like to tell “fantastical lies” about how we live. 

What would be the theme song of your house?
PA: Clique by Kanye West.
KS: Or something by Taylor Swift.
PA: Oh, Taylor Swift. 
BH: Clique, clique, clique.  

Describe your house in one word.
BH: G-Irish. Would people get that?
PA: No one will know what it means?
BH: Go Irish, everyone knows what that means? No, we’ll think of a better one. 
PA: Attractive. 
KS: Hmmm… 

If you had to give each of the roommates a superlative, what would they be?
PA: Brendan is ‘Most Ginger’.
BH: I mean, I can’t dispute it. 
KS: Patch is ‘Most Likely to Tell You the School He Graduated From’. 
BH: Kevin is ‘Most Likely to Take a Nap in His Car at Lunch’. 

Do you have any house traditions?
PA: We lift in our garage. 
KS: Nothing about this is smart or intellectual…
BH: Patch going downstairs to yell during ND football games. 
BH: All of us drink sleepy time tea. Chamomile. 

Something others might not know about you or your house?
KS: Actually, it usually revolves around ND games. We get up early around 7am and car pool to ND games. 
PA: As a house collectively we cook a lot. 
BH: I’ve been known to wrap a few things in bacon.

Favorite room in the house?
KS: Kitchen.
BH: It’s gotta be the kitchen. 
KS: We spend 60% of our time in there. 

If your house came with a warning label, what would it be?
KS: Hasn’t been vacuumed in six months. 
BH: We don’t even own a vacuum cleaner I don’t think?

Do you have any advice for future fellows?
PA: Live in Broad Ripple. A lot to do within walking distance! 
KS: The proof is in the pudding. No, put ‘don’t be a talker be a doer’.
BH: Can I take the proof is in the pudding?
KS: Branch out. 


Be the Yes Person

The Orr Fellowship recently began a 10-week Entrepreneurship class led by one of our Board Members, Mark Hill. I have to admit, the thought of giving up my Monday evenings for 10 weeks for an entrepreneurship class, didn’t sound like the most appealing way to spend my precious after-work hours. However, saying no to the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of a different Indianapolis entrepreneur each week was just out of the question. 

In our second week of the class, we had the pleasure of meeting with Scott Dorsey. Some of you may know him as one of the founders of a little company called ExactTarget. However, we came to know him as someone so much more than a businessman and entrepreneur—we came to know him as a family man and engaged community member. Sure, he successfully grew his company over a span of roughly 12 years and sold it for 2.7 billion to SalesForce, but what stuck out more was his conscience effort to build a company that served others—employees, clients and the community. 

As a young professional, hearing of Scott’s successes and stresses throughout those 12 years served as a real wake up call. So often we get stuck in the minutia, instead of looking at the bigger picture. One of the best examples that Scott shared in building the orange culture, and being open in communicating the bigger picture to his employees, was via his Friday notes. Every Friday, for five years, from every corner of the globe, Scott shared the challenges and successes of the company with each and every employee. At the close of each of these emails, Mark encouraged his employees to enjoy the weekend and get recharged. He knew that if he took care of his employees that they would take care of their clients—and, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.  

These are the types of experiences that define the Orr Fellowship for me. It’s about saying “yes” to every opportunity, even if it means missing your favorite television show or eating dinner at 10pm. Being able to sit in a room with 40+ young professionals, going through the same growing pains as me, and hearing from business leaders around Indianapolis, is just not something every 20-something gets. So although my Mondays may be long for the next few weeks, the reward is so worth the “yes.”


Former Orr Fellow Teresa Becker is in Indy to Stay

This post first appeared on TechPoint.org as part of theTechPoint talent initiative series of profiles on tech rockstars working in Indiana who moved back to the state after working elsewhere. Find out more about TechPoint's talent initiatives here: http://techpoint.org/indianatech/

As one of 600 people in the tiny town in Iowa where she grew up, Teresa Becker knew she wanted to venture outside her small world when it came time to go to college. Ever since moving to Indiana for school, her small world quickly expanded. Over the past several years, Teresa held jobs with ExactTarget in various domestic and global marketing positions and most recently took her current position with Orr Fellow host company, hc1.com, as Director of Marketing.

As a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN, Teresa received a recruitment email from the Orr Fellowship, which she initially “legitimately thought was a scam.” As she started investigating further, however, her perception changed from “this is a scam” to “this is an amazing opportunity.” The Orr Fellowship and a role in the Catapult Program, a rotational program for recent grads at ExactTarget, brought her to Indianapolis after graduation, with degrees in both Marketing and Business Administration. 

Moving to Indianapolis from Marion resulted in the natural shock that one would expect from a girl who grew up in a town of 600 people. “I thought Indy was a huge city!” Teresa says. But before long, her work with ExactTarget took her to much larger cities across the country and globe. As the first field marketing manager at ExactTarget, Teresa worked with sales reps across the west and central regions of the U.S. to establish ExactTarget’s field marketing department. “I was traveling almost bi-weekly. I got to see and experience many cities I hadn’t been to before: Seattle, San Francisco, Denver – I got to see them all." Teresa's exploration continued internationally through her next role on the global marketing team. She worked with ExactTarget marketing managers all over the world running the go-to-market when the company expanded into new offices. This role allowed her to travel all over the world: Europe, Australia, South America and Southeast Asia.

“I’ve been to all of these cities around the world, but I keep coming back. Indianapolis is home. I feel a sense of pride for this community. There are so many things that make Indianapolis great, but number one is people. It’s easy to meet people here; it’s easy to become involved in exciting opportunities.”

Teresa's landing pad in Indianapolis appeared in the form of a new career. She met Brad Bostic, CEO of hc1.com, and Jeff Lautenbach, Chief Revenue Officer of hc1.com (although at the time he was working for SAP) while working as a private consultant. Instead of utilizing her consulting services, Brad hired her as Director of Marketing at healthcare relationship cloud, hc1.com. 

Today, she manages a team of six people, focusing on messaging, positioning, branding, PR and demand generation programs (e.g. trade shows, webinars, e-blasts, blog, digital etc.), grows referral and technology partnerships and leads research around international expansion. 

It seems as though Teresa is in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future – thanks in large part to the Orr Fellowship. “Honestly, I don’t know if I would have looked for a job in Indy out of college if it hadn’t been for the Fellowship. As soon as the Fellowship came into the picture, it was pretty obvious that I had to do this. I’m so glad I pursued it.”

She just finished building a house in Westfield, where her monthly mortgage payments are less than what some of her friends in Chicago pay in rent for a one-bedroom apartment. “You just can’t beat the cost of living in Indy. There is so much to do here. It’s a great home base.” Teresa and her boyfriend, Matt, have now trained for two half-marathons on the Monon Trail. They love Mass Ave. and Fountain Square for the art and foodie scenes. But at the end of the day, it’s about the people. And for Teresa, Indy wins in that category every time. “Other cities are fun to visit and explore, but they just don’t feel like home. Indy does.”


Fifty New Jobs and a Monumental Impact

The Orr Fellowship can be hard to describe. On its own it does not create jobs but it brings together those who do. However, what it is and why it is important is built upon a simple idea - to attract new members to Indiana's workforce and develop them into business leaders and entrepreneurs. This is achieved by connecting the area’s most well-established and most promising companies to that idea. It is truly a remarkable display of corporate and civic responsibility.

The unique professional experience of the Orr Fellowship exists in the relationship between the host company and the Orr Fellow. Host companies should expect nothing less than to hire a talented and proficient individual who will produce superior work results. They should expect an individual who plows headfirst through the mundane and excels when tested. Upon proving themselves, Orr Fellows should expect the companies to be committed to providing professional development opportunities of the same magnitude as that of the expected work results. It is at that point, an unwavering commitment for mutual benefit, where success becomes visible.

Since its 2002 inception, the Orr Fellowship has grown year after year. New companies have been added and the size of each class has expanded. At the same time, the Orr Fellowship has benefited from an Indianapolis that has continued to develop as an incredibly attractive place to live and work.The exceptional model of the Orr Fellowship is especially visible on one particular day. It is a day of humble appreciation for the program's successes and of profound excitement for the future. Over the course of Finalist Day, thirty-two companies and more than eighty Indianapolis business leaders will select individuals whom they believe should be brought into the fabric of their businesses and the Indianapolis community. By the end of that day there will be fifty newly created jobs in Indianapolis. Fifty new economic producers and consumers and giving members of our community. It is a day built upon incredible promise and a determined commitment to an invaluable idea.

Stewart Burns is a second-year Orr Fellow working at KSM Consulting. #LiveIndy 

The Importance of 'Why'

Last week, I was perusing the Orr Fellowship blog when I came across Andrea and Emily’s roommate interview post. I’ve gotten to know both Andrea and Emily through recruitment this year; Andrea is the Recruitment Coordinator, and Emily is a Recruitment Lead. I knew they were roommates, but I had no idea that they were such close friends. My ‘blue’ side came out (take the True Colors Personality Quiz to find out your dominating colors), and I teared up as I finished the last couple of sentences. (Yes, I realize this is embarrassing to admit. That’s okay.)

The blog inspired me, and it gave me a huge dose of perspective. As Recruitment Champion, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘what’ part of what I’m doing. I’m sending emails to applicants, writing speaker introductions for Reception on the Circle, collecting feedback from directors, and more; the list goes on and on. I’ve loved the last nine months serving as Recruitment Champion, but all too often, I’ve found myself describing the position as "a lot of work" or "keeping me busy." By focusing too much on my list of tasks, I had completely forgotten why I wanted the position in the first place: to help give someone else the same opportunity the Fellowship has given me.

The Orr Fellowship has impacted me in the last year more than I could have ever expected. Allos Ventures, my host company, has given me an open environment to learn the ropes of business and venture capital. I’ve had leadership positions that have taught me how to better manage and motivate others. I’ve made new best friends that I’m sure will stick by my side long after my two years as a Fellow are complete. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. These experiences are what drive Orr Fellows to blanket their alma maters’ campuses and to spread the Orr Fellowship word, to offer this experience to more outstanding and deserving students.

Recruitment serves a necessary purpose for the fellowship: to recruit more fellows. It goes beyond this required process for the continuation of an organization, however, and produces an incredibly rewarding experience. We recruit more Fellows to continue the Orr Fellowship legacy, to form more webs in the Orr Fellowship network, to impact Indianapolis to an even greater extent than the fellows that came before us already have. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to lead this year’s recruitment, and I couldn’t be more excited for Finalist Day to finalize our next class of undoubtedly amazing fellows.


Orr Fellowship Looking to Hire Its First Executive Director

The Orr Fellowship is searching for its first Executive Director in its 12-year history. The Orr Fellowship has been steadily growing since its inception in 2002, and will have its largest number of Fellows and host companies this year. In order to continue to fulfill our mission to develop Indiana's next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, we are searching for an Executive Director to help provide strategic and operational responsibility for Orr Fellowship members, programs, and expansion plans. 

The Orr Fellowship is looking for someone with proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. Reporting to our Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Orr Fellowship. She or he will initially develop a deep knowledge of core programs, operations, and business plans. As a result of the Orr Fellowship’s two-year turnover, the Executive Director’s role will be able to provide long-term structure and consistency. A detailed description of the position is available here: Executive Director Job Description.

Application Procedure
If interested, you are invited to apply here: Executive Director Application. Please apply before 11:59 p.m. on November 21st, 2014. Spread the word by sharing this announcement on Twitter


Mark and Karen Hill Annual Alumni Event

October 17th marked the annual Orr Fellowship Alumni Event at the beautiful home of Mark and Karen Hill. Each year the event gathers current Fellows, alumni, board members and host company executives for an evening of networking and shared memories – and as the Fellowship grows so too does the party. 

The first-year Fellows posed for their inaugural class photo on the staircase, which has become an annual tradition at the Alumni Event.

With the Class of 2012 joining the ranks of Alumni earlier this year, there are now nearly 200 former Fellows out making a difference in the community. In addition to 71 current Fellows, this recruiting season brought in a record number of applicants. With 33 host companies committed to Finalist Day, the Orr Fellowship Class of 2015 is expected to reach 50 fellows. This year’s Alumni Event was an opportunity to celebrate this growth, as well as the relationships and opportunities made possible by the Orr Fellowship throughout the last 12 years.

The evening was also a time to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of past and current Orr Fellows. First-year Fellow and co-founder of Trade Secret Chocolates, Marcus Waddell (pictured below, left), showcased his delicious special edition Orr Fellowship chocolates. 

Keeping in theme of indulging in local food and craft products, the Osiris Pale Ale and merriment flowed in abundance throughout the evening thanks to our generous friends at Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Company

In many ways, the event was less a “reunion” and more a gathering of a group of engaged and motivated people who are doing meaningful things in the Indianapolis community, and doing them together. While there was certainly a fair share of catching up, many of the individuals in the room are still closely connected. Some work and play together on a regular basis, and others are even building and growing businesses together. The evening was filled with evidence of relationships and stories knit together by an organization that embodies the collaborative spirit that makes the Indianapolis entrepreneurial community special, and it’s exciting to imagine what this group will build and grow together in the future. 

Stephanie Meyer (Bristow) and Lauren Gatchel (’12) embrace at their first Mark Hill Event as Alumni.

Current Orr Fellows enjoying an evening with peers.


Governor Orr Fellowship Expands with New Host Companies

The Governor Bob Orr Entrepreneurial Fellowship announces new host companies from within the Central Indiana business community for the program’s 14th year. It continues to pursue its mission to keep Indiana’s best and brightest graduates in the state by pairing them with exciting Indiana companies for a unique, two-year experience. Since its inception in 2002, the Orr Fellowship has placed more than 230 fellows with some of Indiana’s most dynamic and flourishing companies like Angie’s List, ExactTarget, Interactive Intelligence and Aprimo.

In 2015, an unprecedented 33 companies will host an Orr Fellow, an increase from 25 the year before. Fourteen of the companies are new hosts, nine of the companies consist of over 1,000 employees, many are entrepreneurial and they all have opportunities for growth. These companies are committed to providing a challenging and unique postgraduate experience to Fellows starting in the Spring of 2015. “The growth of the program is a marker of its continued success in Indianapolis and allows Fellows to have a broader impact on the technology sector and community as a whole,” says board chair Scott Brenton.

Over the course of the two-years, Orr Fellows will be mentored by senior leaders at their respective host companies, build deep relationships with peers, business community leaders, and participate in professional development seminars and philanthropic events.

“This year we are including some great Indianapolis brands including Finish Line, Roche, KAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” says board member Mark Hill. 

The 2015 class of Orr Fellows will be selected following Finalist Day on Friday, Nov. 21. Candidates are selected based on superior academic performance, extracurricular involvement, demonstrated leadership potential, and previous job experiences. 

2015 host companies:

Angie's List KSM Consulting
Apparatus  LDI
Appirio Lesson.Ly
BidPal Milhaus Development
Blue Pillar One Click Ventures
BlueBridge OurHealth
CloudOne PactSafe
Digital Relevance PERQ
Duramark  RICS
Element 3  Right On Interactive
Finish Line Roche
First Person Sproutbox
Formstack Supply Kick
hc1.com T2 Systems
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Teradata
Interactive Intelligence TinderBox

ROTC | Reception on the Circle


Revved Up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Drivers, start your engines! Orr Fellows were in for a wild ride at the last Business Leader Meeting. They had the unique opportunity to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in addition to hearing from CEO, Mark Miles, and recent Vice President of Events, Allison Melangton, for Hulman & Co. Hulman's portfolio inclues the Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series. Second-year Fellow, Kaleigh Solley, gives her first-hand account of this super-charged BLM. 

The drive to this BLM was unlike any other I have had before. Rather than parking in a traditional parking lot, I arrived at this meeting by using the underpass into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A green light guided me to the correct lane as a sense of thrill overtook me. After a series of twists and turns the reality of what I was doing set in; I was driving on the internal road course for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The rare quietness of the track normally flooded with tires screeching and fans cheering, allowed me to reflect on this truly unique opportunity. 

Listening to the backgrounds of BLM speakers is always awe inspiring, and this instance was no different. Both Mark Miles and Allison Melangton worked to bring Super Bowl XLVI to Indianapolis and ultimately impacted permanent change for the event and the larger Indianapolis community. They demonstrated to the Super Bowl Committee the expansive ways in which Indianapolis would bring together residents, tourists, and sports enthusiasts. Indianapolis vowed to play its strengths including its history of event planning, strong community spirit, and compact downtown. Super Bowl XLVI brought much more than just a short-lived football game to Indianapolis. It provided a powerful catalyst to advance broader civic goals, providing lasting social and economic value to Indianapolis. Their efforts defied media expectations of Indianapolis, making it a truly an iconic Super Bowl. 

Hearing their story mirrored my feelings about Indianapolis in general. With my involvement in the Orr Fellowship and the city of Indianapolis, I feel that the work I do has the ability to positively impact the community. Making a difference is two-fold; I volunteer and lead philanthropic organizations, as well as work for a company that is tirelessly working to improve the status quo of their industry. Indy has a lot of these stellar companies and I feel lucky to have a front row seat to watching these successes. Being an Orr Fellow for the last 18 months has been the perfect way to experience and grow within a new city. The Orr Fellowship has been the primary vehicle for my own personal and professional growth, and I look forward to meeting the next class of Orr Fellows as they embark on this incredible journey. 


Professional Development: "Chopping Wood"

When thinking about the value of the Orr Fellowship, I am reminded of the old fable, The Lumberjack Story. 

There are two lumberjacks who cut wood for a living. They both had similar upbringing and size but one just happens to cut a lot more wood. One lumberjack works from dusk till dawn and will sometimes skip lunch. The other lumberjack, will start a little later and will take frequent breaks. So who cuts more wood? The one who works harder and longer? Wrong! The second one, who starts later and takes frequent breaks. One day, the first lumberjack was so fed up he went to the other lumberjack and yelled, “How do you cut more wood than me? I get up earlier and take hardly any breaks! What is your secret?!” The second lumberjack turns and smiles. “There is no secret. Every morning before I begin I simply take the time to sharpen my ax.”

What does this mean to the Orr Fellowship? That we can chop a lot more wood with half the effort? Well yes, but more specifically that we are sharpening our skills as the next generation of business leaders. This happens through one of the main components of the Orr Fellowship: professional development workshops. Every so often we get together as a class to sharpen a variety of skills as business leaders. Just a month ago we did a workshop on design thinking that taught us how to reach more innovative ideas in a group setting. Most recently, board of director member Mark Hill has organized a series of entrepreneurship classes in which outside business leaders share their startup advice with Fellows. 

The Orr Fellowship offers some very unique opportunities to “sharpen your ax” to become a more effective leader and at a much faster pace. The next time you are working extra hard, ask yourself, how sharp is my ax?


Porch Profile: The Women of 102 Solana Apartments

Many Orr Fellows not only work and play together, but also live together. The following post is part of a new blog series that highlights fun roommate dynamics in various places in Indianapolis. First-year Fellows Emily Richards (pictured left) and Andrea Massimilian (pictured right) are featured.
Favorite memory as a house?
Andrea Massimilian: Dance party that involved wine on a Monday night- it was spontaneous!
Emily Richards: Every time I TRY and fail to cook a meal
AM: No, she actually is great cook! I love it when she cooks...

Favorite thing to do as roommates?
AM: Brunch.
ER: Brunch, Amen.
AM: Or movie nights. Those are a lot of fun!

Favorite item in your house?
ER: The wine bottle opener.
AM: Ha! 
EM: And the fresh flowers Andrea brings home every week.
AM: I read an article once saying to splurge on something that will make you smile every time you see it. For me that's fresh flowers. I have them at home and on my desk at work! Anyways... mine would have to be the mini pumpkins that we have in a giant bowl on our island. Happy Fall!

Broad ripple or downtown?
AM: Broad ripple!! But I do love how easy it is to get downtown.
ER: Broad Ripple :)

Song that describes the house-
ER: Shake it off!!
AM: Dang that's what I was gonna say...

Something others might not know about you or your house?
AM: Em can't eat dairy! But yet we have a lot of cheese our fridge? She buys it for the cooking... It's funny. One time she made a homemade pizza and half was soy cheese and the other half real cheese. She knows I can't give up my real cheese :)
ER: We somehow end up having great Monday nights? 

Describe your house in one word:
ER: Cohesive (We're really great roommates.)
AM: Welcoming! (We love having people over.)

If you had to give each other a superlative what would it be?
AM: Teacher's pet.
ER: Ah, man.
AM: In a good way!
ER: Yours would be Best Laugh.
AM: I have such an obnoxious laugh...
ER: No it's the best! It's one of those that makes everyone else laugh- it's infectious.

What do you think each other's aspirations are?
ER: Oh, good question. A's gonna be a VP of marketing, wait no. She's gonna be the EVP of PR and Marketing at a really cool firm in Chicago and go on really cool trips... No Oklahoma though.
AM: Now I feel the pressure ... Em's going to be one of those women that kills it as a mom with a career. She'll have the cutest kids that have the most fashionable outfits but also work for a company and people that respect her but also thrive with her. (Cue ahhhs)
ER: Ahhhh!
AM: Ha, told you!

Do you have any advice for future fellows?
AM: Say yes to almost everything - that's how you get to know everyone!
ER: This sounds so Miss America- but be yourself and enjoy the process! I'm so basic.
AM: We want to get a latte maker, we're pretty basic. Good luck future fellows! :)

Crushing the Interview: How to Impress the Orr Fellowship Board of Directors

Receiving an Orr Fellowship interview is a big deal. If you’re among the lucky ones, congratulations! 

As is the case through much of the Orr Fellowship recruitment process, Orr Fellowship interviews are not “run of the mill.” The Fellowship Board of Directors spreads out across Indiana and Ohio during the first few weeks of October to serve as interviewers. Most of them have been involved with the Fellowship since its inception. They know what they’re doing, and they really know what makes a good Orr Fellow. 

If you’re like I was in the fall of 2012, the Orr Fellowship interview will be your first “real job” interview. In order to figure out how to navigate that daunting milestone, I did a lot of Google searching. I’m hoping to save you that trouble and also let you in on a few nuances of the Fellowship recruitment process. 

1. Breathe. 
Get to your interview early. Collect yourself and your thoughts. Make sure you give yourself an opportunity to take a moment before you walk into your interview.

2. Rock the first 30 seconds.
I’m all about first impressions. Make a good one. Enter the room confidently, speak clearly and smile. Be friendly, but don’t overdo it, especially not to the point that your friendliness appears fake. On that note: 

3. Be real.
I think our generation has a remarkably easy time being real. We’re generally okay being ourselves. Except in interviews. While interviews (including those for the Orr Fellowship) are certainly formal settings, there’s no reason to hide who you are. You’re smart. You’re interesting. You’re probably pretty impressive. Show it. 

4. Dress well.
Most Fellows work in startups. Lots of us (including me) wear jeans to work more than one day out of the week. I think casual attire does a lot for culture, but it doesn’t belong in your interview. 

5. Get knowledgeable.
Sure, you’re not working yet. But there’s tons of news online about the Indianapolis tech and startup communities. And there’s a lot happening in the Indy tech community. Try to understand what’s going on here. It’ll help you ask the right questions and figure out whether or not you want to be a part of it. Read up! 

Twitter handles I like and follow:

6. Be prepared.
Arm yourself with copies of your resume and be very familiar with its contents. Choose nuggets of really applicable experience and familiarize yourself even further. Reflect on what you need to communicate in your interview and what you need to gain from it. Remember: while the interviewer is deciding whether you’re a good fit for the Fellowship, you should be deciding whether the Fellowship is a good fit for you. Do not memorize answers to standard interview questions you think your interviewer might ask. Even if he or she does ask those questions, it’ll be tough to convince your interviewer that you came up with that perfectly packaged answer on the spot. 

7. Follow up. 
The interview doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Follow up with the Fellowship recruitment lead at your school and your interviewer if you’d like. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer for a business card so you can reach out to him or her directly. If you had a meaningful connection, refer to it. Check out my email to my interviewer for an example below (that apparently worked). 

"I just wanted to send you a quick note thanking you for our interview last week. I very much appreciate the opportunity to be considered by the Orr Fellowship! Certainly, the fact that a program alumna is willing to serve on the Board of Directors and spend an entire day conducting interviews speaks volumes to the quality of the Fellowship. I hope you have a wonderful week!"

Good luck in your interview! I hope to see you at Reception on the Circle.


Sorority Girl Turned Tech Nerd

Connections—we all find energy, joy and inspiration from the people, places and things we connect to in our life. From a young age, we hope to connect with our fellow classmates and have someone to sit with at the lunch table. Later, we learn how to network and make connections among alumni of our university for internship and job opportunities. Working at brand experience design firm, KA+A, connectivity has taken on an entirely new meaning for me. 

KA+A has had a long-standing partnership with innovative technology company, ExactTarget. As their annual event Connections approached—the world’s premiere digital marketing conference—I knew I was in for a technological treat. Our design team had been working behind the scenes for months, on several of the keynote presentations. As a sponsor of the conference, we also had a presence in the Marketing Cloud Expo Hall, where I worked with our Director of Accounts to connect with potential new clients and explain KA+A’s service delivery. 

The conference featured 4 days of inspiring keynotes, exciting product demos, and educational breakout sessions. Below are some of the highlights of the conference and  involvement as a first-year Orr Fellow. 

As an account representative for KA+A, most of my time was spent at our booth talking to potential clients. Tapping into the conference theme, "The Journey is the Reward" our designers created a digital landscape that included a starry sky lit with Pinterest & Twitter stars, as well as a cargo ship carrying various social media cargo such as Facebook and YouTube (as shown left), and other connected devices.

Beyond the booth, the common message that all the top marketing executives stressed was the future of marketing technology and a focus on creating personalized, 1:1 customer journeys. Different case studies from multinational brands were used to illustrate this point such as FitBit, LiveNation, McDonald's, and Diesel jeans. In addition to brands, a handful of celebrities also made an appearance. Entrepreneur, musician, and philanthropist, will.i.am participated in a fireside chat with salesforce.com Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff. will.i.am discussed the involvement of technology in the music industry and how celebrities have the ability to influence pop culture in this arena. He introduced a new product he is designing that goes beyond a smartwatch; he describes it as a computer on your wrist. 

Later that evening, I had the opportunity to attend the Connections 2014 music festival hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium featuring The Script, and will.i.am (yes they played Hall of Fame together). will.i.am revealed his new technology on stage and DJed using his new wrist technology instead of a computer.

The final day of the conference featured bestselling author & video blogger, John Green, and acclaimed actress and bestselling author Mindy Kaling. Both celebrities humorously discussed their personal journeys, quest for authenticity, and interaction with social media. 

Though the keynote speakers and topics were amazing, some of the best time was spent connecting with the KA+A team. Below is a humorous group photo taken together at the photo booth (I am the blonde girl in the pink cowgirl hat with the wand). Like the slogan for the conference, The Journey is the Reward, Connections 2014 was a whirlwind of marketing education, hard work, and fun. 


A Community Kitchen in Our Backyard

8 year-old me waiting for dinner: “Dad, I’m starving.” 
My Dad: “No, Sara, you’re not.”

I wasn’t really starving, but we’ve all said it. We’re human, we get hungry. But struggling with hunger? Actually not having food to put on the table?  That’s another story.  

Once in a while (yet not often enough) I catch myself thinking about the things that I take for granted. A roof over my head. Family. Friends. A paycheck. A car. Health. A safe drinking supply. Opportunity. Clothing. A coat when the weather gets cold. Food. The list goes on, but let’s focus on food for a minute – it’s the source of nutrition and sustenance that we all need in order to survive. While most of us are fortunate enough to benefit from some if not all of the above on a day-to-day basis, there are people in our own backyard, walking the same streets that we do, struggling to find something as simple as a hot nutritious meal at the end of a long day. 

After volunteering with a group of Orr Fellows at Second Helpings, I found myself in one of these contemplative moods. The opportunity arose to contribute to a good cause alongside my Fellow peers and I thought, “New opportunity to get to know my new friends and new city better? Yes.” So I jumped at the chance, but knew next to nothing about the organization or its mission. In the end I walked away enlightened and grateful to be in a program and city that actively cares for others, and let me explain why. 

First, here’s a question. Do you ever wonder what happens to the large amounts of food sitting on the shelves of wholesalers, restaurants, and retailers when the expiration date printed on the plastic wrapping creeps up faster than expected?  
The answer: landfills.  

At the same time, more than 80,000 children in the Indy metro area struggle with hunger and nearly 15% of senior citizens in Indiana face hunger – not even counting everyone in between.

Do we see the disconnect here?

In 1998, three Indianapolis chefs realized the potential to alleviate both these issues of hunger and unnecessary food waste with one solution: Second Helpings – a community kitchen. 

Today an entire network of volunteers and staff members collect donated perishable and overstocked food, prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults each day, and then distribute them free of charge through local social service agencies in the Greater Indianapolis area. In addition, Second Helpings provides an avenue for unemployed and underemployed individuals to transform their lives through a culinary job training program. 

We learned this and more during our first 15 minutes as we got a tour of the building, and then it was actually time to take part in the action. After we listened to the safety rules of the kitchen, put on our aprons and hats (or stylish hairnets for those who forgot a hat), we started chopping.  Tomatoes at one table, beef at the other. Simple task, yes – but the results? Ready-to-go ingredients for the sauces, soups, stews, and more concocted by the chefs on the other side of the kitchen. I didn’t have time to watch the clock – I was too busy admiring those around me diligently working, selflessly giving their time to ensure healthy meals could be delivered to those in need. Every person we met had their own story, greeted us with a smile, thanked us for being there.  It’s inspiring to see people care about something, then turn around and make great things happen.  

I’ll let these numbers speak for themselves:

Since 1998, 
over 8 million meals have been prepared and delivered,
over 21 million pounds of food have been rescued,
volunteers have served for over 368,127 total hours,
and 579 individuals have graduated from the Culinary Job Training program.  

Not only was I able to connect with my Fellow peers in a new setting, and contribute to a worthy cause, but I was also reminded of two valuable lessons that day:
Give thanks for what you have.
Give something of yourself to others – your time, it’s priceless.

“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.” – Kevin Kruse


The Next Generation of Philanthropic Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

For Orr Fellows, leadership and determination aren't concepts limited to the workplace. While lessons learned in BLM's (business leadership meetings) and design thinking courses benefit the 9-5, a recent community event highlighted what happens when innovation meets community outreach. Last week, in partnership with Indy Hunger NetworkIndy Do Day, and Elanco, the Orr Fellowship participated in a community outreach event like none other. Coined ‘Circling Hunger’ (or #circlinghunger for those of you on twitter) the event mobilized over 100 volunteers that convened at Monument Circle (the center of Downtown Indy) in unison, to promote Indy Do Day, a city-wide day of service, and to raise awareness surrounding the issue of hunger in our local community. The "flash mob" type of event has succeeded in generating media buzz around the city, and collected over 100 pounds of canned goods to be distributed throughout local food banks. Below is a short video of the successful and rewarding event. 

Taking part in this event was an invigorating experience. From meeting with influential community leaders to being inspired by my peers at every turn, it has demonstrated the power of collaboration. Individually, societal problems such as hunger, homelessness, and poverty often seem insurmountable even at the most local level. However, as illustrated last week, it is possible to create a dedicated community coalition, start a discussion within the community, and make a material difference.  

This year, the Orr Fellowship has taken steps to become more entrenched in the non-profit sector of Indianapolis, by creating a number of partnerships with local organizations. As young professionals, we recognize this city has already given us so much. It is our obligation to support the community around us, and to create opportunities for the next generation of innovators. 

Participation in the Orr Fellowship opens up countless opportunities to become civically engaged within the local Indianapolis community and beyond. If you are a well-rounded student that desires work experience, volunteer opportunities, and a social network of likeminded individuals, I would encourage you to apply.

Are you a non-profit that the Fellowship could volunteer or partner with?  Please send me an email at alex.tallentire@orrfellowship.org.


How to Make the Most Out of College Networking Events

Phil Tarnowski is a first-year Orr Fellow and Marketing Specialist at host-company Performance Assessment Network (PAN Testing). Phil is the co-founder of career advice blog, Schooltime-to-Fulltime. The blog educates college students on how to land their dream job and prepare for the working world while in college. Please enjoy this guest blog post written by Phil on how to make the most out of college networking events. 

College has many incredible networking opportunities. There are club events, job sessions, career fairs, and days where guest speakers come into classes. Many students are unsure how to approach these types of events. Here is how you can make the most out of college recruiting events:

Career Fairs
Career fairs can be overwhelming. There are a huge amount of companies for you to talk to in a limited amount of time. To maximize your time, go into the career fair with a plan. Here is what you should do before every career fair:

If possible, send an email to recruiters of companies you are interested in before the career fair – most people do not send an email ahead of time, but it is a good way to stand out. Sending an email ahead of time will make recruiters look specifically for you because you sent them an email saying you look forward to talking to them at the career fair. It will give you a little bit of an introduction before you meet them in person, and it will also show recruiters you plan ahead.

Research the companies ahead of time – talking to recruiters about their company is much easier if you are knowledgeable about what they do. Recruiters like students who come prepared and are aware of the industry they operate in and what they do.

Prepare 5 specific questions for each company you want to talk to – while you will not be looking at a list while asking recruiters questions, you can always bring this list with you and look it over before you talk to the company. 

Additionally, writing the questions before helps you think more about each individual company, which will make you a better conversationalist.Ask for business cards and what the next steps are – make sure you get contact information from the recruiter. By getting contact information, you can send a thank you email, and you can also send emails to express your continued interest in the job. Additionally, you should ask the next steps so you have an idea of the timeframe the company has for their recruiting process.

Job Sessions
Job sessions are basically a lecture in a classroom about the company and the job description.  Job sessions should be approached somewhat similarly to career fairs. You should always send an email to the recruiter before, saying you are looking forward to learning information about their company. You should also prepare questions and ask these questions when the Q&A session arrives. Additionally, it is important to stay after and talk to the recruiter so they meet you in person and know who you are.

Club Events/Guest Speakers
Club events and guest speakers are similar to job sessions, but they might be different depending on the situation. Sometimes these events are not actual recruiting events, but the company is just coming to teach about a certain topic. That being said, the guest speaker is still from a company and will know other people in the company. The main thing with these types of events is to engage in the discussion and to talk to the speaker after the event is over. Get a business card and try to stay in touch after the event.

The Main Point
College is a huge opportunity to network with companies. There are many great companies recruiting in close proximity to each other because of the large amount of students. If you prepare properly, you can make the most out of career fairs, job sessions, club events, and guest speakers.